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Afghanistan 35, Us 23, United States 22, Iraq 19, Kuwait 17, Washington 13, Gorbachev 12, Vietnam 12, U.s. 10, Bush 8, America 8, Jeffrey Engel 6, Leavenworth 6, North Korea 6, Cia 5, George Bush 5, Pentagon 5, China 5, Philadelphia 5, Europe 5,
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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    February 19, 2013
    8:00 - 11:00pm EST  

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.. >> we live with nuclear iran? >> i would rather not. >> what would be the implications of a military strike? >> we would guaranty that which we are attempting to
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prevent. and irwran that will stop at nothing to in secret develop a nuclear weapon. >> many military analysts say a strike on iran, even a very good one delays that option. >> leave one additional thought. wharf whatever you thought of libyan intervention. it set off a whole bunch events it africa. that was predictable. let me give you view of iran to operation in libya. this is what happens when you give up your wmd program. >> so my last question for you on this evening, after this remarkable career of 39 years in the military, listening in on all these bad actors and conversations for all your years in intelligence, the national security agency, being at the cia and seeing everything from the trains blown up in madrid to the towers come down when you were at nsa in new york, are you an optimist or a
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pessimist when it comes to human nature? >> i am, in another venue, described reading the president's daily preefs and all the stuff that is not ready for prime time every morning, six or seven days a week and you do that for three years it is hard to be confident about human nature. that said, as bad as that is, believe me, there is evil afoot in the world, all right? german embassy thing, right? i'm doing the speech and nobody in the room is buying it. >> won't want to ask you back again to speak sometime real soon. >> one. ambassadors turns to me, i think criticizing me but trying to do it very nicely. >> he is a diplomat. >> yes. he says, general, we're all children of the enlightenment, don't forget. and i remembering my good catholic education where you get overdosed with philosophy said, yes, we are. ail the children of the enlightenment. we americans studied hobbs and you europeans are fixated on locke, okay?
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so there is true evil afoot in the world. yes. that said, all right, martin luther king had it right, the long arc of history bends in the direction of, he said justice but i'm, i'm telling you broadly, broadly virtue. that one then you learn in the intelligence business is that there are bad people in the world, that by and large, there isn't a clear dividing line between good people and bad people. by and large, there's an awful lot of commonalty in our humanity, and by and large, give the opportunity, most people bend that arc in a positive direction. >> on that encouraging note then, i will thank you very much for your time this evening. [applause] thank you for taking questions. for those of you who are going to join us upstairs
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we'll do so after this. thank you very much. thank you. you can join us upstairs for -- [inaudible] see you in a few minutes afterwards. thank you. >> we'll have more live coverage tomorrow. john kerry will be at the university of virginia what he is calling a major foreign policy speech since becoming secretary of state. you can see live coverage at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. and the council on foreign relations hosts assistant secretary of state frederick barton on conflict resolution. that will be on c-span in the afternoon at 1230 eastern. [inaudible] >> the communism of china basically is communism in name only these days and it
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preserved the power of the members of communist party but they basically threw most ideology aside when deng chow ping opened it up to become a capitalist haven. the come nifl in china, they talk at great length at party conferences about marxism and leninism. it is all about preserving the party's power economically as the country continues to grow because they threw aside most vestiges of communism a long time ago. in north korea, it is about preserving the military and the kim dynasty. it has nothing to do what karl marx envisioned as communism way back. someone can do a fascinating book, somehow communism when it moved into asia diverged into something different in vietnam, cambodia, laos, china, north korea than the come nifl in the eastern companies that. is absolutely fascinating
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split that occurred. >> former "washington post" correspondent keith richburg on 34 years of reporting and insights on sunday on c-span's q&a. >> with the senate on break we're featuring book tv programs in prime time. our schedule tonight focuses on the military in the gulf and afghanistan. up next retired general stanley mcchrystal recounts the major turning points in his 34-year career. in an hour, david cap plan how general david petraeus changed military strategy in the insurgents. a essay about journalists government officials and scholars. now retired general stanley mcchrystal. [applause]
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>> well, thank you very much. thanks for coming out. i think this is a wonderful opportunity for the gentleman sitting next to me is kind of a big deal. for anyone who is, pays attention to american foreign policy and military affairs you know that ever since the attacks on this country on 9/11 the united states has had to evolve militarily, in our intelligence community in many ways to meet the challenge of this new enemy. and more than anyone that i can think of general mcchrystal has been responsible for shaping that evolution and developing the, what i call the targeting engine which is what we have, i think adopted as our primary method of defending the country. so thank you for being here, general mcchrystal. great to see you. >> thanks, mark.
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thanks for a too kind introduction. i always thought of you as a nonfiction writer but you're free to go into fiction now. >> i know that, you were the commander of our special operations in iraq and afghanistan and there has been, as i mentioned a rapid evolution. i'm familiar from writing "black hawk down" with the way things were back in the early '90s. can you give us an idea of sort of the overall strategy that's evolved and we'll get to specifics maybe but also the tactics that you've developed. >> well, not me. a group of people did things. take you back a little bit. at the end of the vietnam war as america has done at the end of other wars the special operations units that are created essentially get gutted or they get disbanded entirely. there's a bias to do away with them and in the late 1970s american special
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operating forces when i firsted joined the green beer rays or special forces they were really in pretty pathetic shape. they were barely a shadow what they had been at the heyday of the vietnam war. in 1980 the mission eagle call was launched to try to conduct a rescue mission into tehran to rescue the american citizens who were held hostage in the embasssy and it failed. it failed not only painfully but failed for many reasons but one of which our special operations capability, while we still had people who were brave and strong and whatnot, they were not an integrated community capable of doing very complex things in deep and that was a very complex endeavor. so it failed and from the ashes of that there was a report called the holloway commission and it recommended that we take a look at our capability to do this kind of operation and the structure to do it. i entered special operations a few years later as a young ranger officer and i was
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able, and i try to tell this in great detail in the book because when you start to build a special operations capability as we were redoing in the early 1980s the first thing you do is go find stereotypical special operators. typically guys with big shoulders, big knuckles, good shots, brave and all that sort of thing and that's important. you got to have that but it is really the easiest part of creating the organization. because what you have to do, if you're going to do do complex operations, you have to have a huge intelligence capacity, you've got to integrate that were operators. you have to have aviation ability to bring this all together and most importantly you have got to have a culture and that culture has got to be very mature. that is the word i use very carefully. it is not a culture of stereotypical rambo kind of things because that is not the way special operations succeed. that is how you lose. and so you have to build a culture that evolved to
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problem-solving and problem-solving in which building teams does that. so what happened is we went up to the first, i was in the rangers and then joint special operations command through the first gulf war where we did scud hunting, hunting for iraqi missiles in western iraq and we were getting better and better what we did. we all paid huge attention what mark wrote so brilliantly in "black hawk down". that was the operation in mogadishu. we went to school on that experience aided by the document he had written on an operation that had gone very badly but then had been essentially dealt with by the force on the ground with extraordinary courage but a lot of holes in what we could do came out. we came out as a fairly brittle force, i.e., if everything went perfectly, the way you planned it, then you're in good shape but when things started to go badly as they so often do, how do you deal with it? do you have the resilience to deal with it?
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so we started to try to fix that and make it a more flexible and resilient force. we went up into 2001 after 9/11 and of course the first operations in afghanistan, toppling the afghan government and defeating al qaeda were brilliant deep raids. in iraq with the initial invasion same thing, working against a nation-state. but where we found ourselves in really late 2003 which is when i returned to special operations is you remember in the spring of '03 the invasion of iraq went sort of surprisingly well or deceptively well and suddenly things in iraq started to go very badly in the late summer. we had a sense that if we could just arrest saddam hussein that that would potentially stop the problem and what happened was we did. the force found and arrested saddam hussein and that didn't, what we found is, what had grown sort of beneath the surface was a cancer-like network led by a
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guy named abu musab al-zarqawi, who had created a al qaeda-related organization. it wasn't technically al qaeda at that point but it was a combination of foreign leadership and then frustrated iraqi sunnis and they were a network and they were not a small organization trying to do one or two things. they were trying to run an insurgency using what we call terrorist tactics. suddenly the force that had been beautifully designed and honed to a fine enfor very precise you about very episodic occasional operations was unprepared and unable to do the wider problem. like having a s.w.a.t. team for your police force for all of philadelphia, but in realty, if you can't cover the whole city and can't do a lot of things, that one s.w.a.t. team can never be decisive. that's where we found ourselves, that began the significant evolution. that's where we really began to change dramatically. >> right. in sew maul wrau -- somalia
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task force ranger was there before the big battle i wrote about and during that battle they launched six mission. the pace was intelligence gathering, finding targets and planning, operations, sometimes very quickly once that intelligence came together and launching a raid. describe how, what optempo means and exactly how that applied in iraq? >> that is very interesting, mark got it exactly right. a series of raids in mogadishu all happened a number about raids days apart. you get intel. make a decision. you set yourself criteria to launch. when those criteria come you launch but it is a pretty centralized and pretty deliberate process. when we got in iraq we were originally doing that and we would have this precise thing. what we found we were having effect, but very narrow effect, very slow effect. when we would go on a target, for example we would go to pick up an individual and
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there may or may not be a fight. if we captured him and his computer and phone and documents other things, we would capture all those things but the force, one of our small forces around the country would do the operation and then it might take a day or two for them to send the individual back to our headquarters where we could begin effective interrogation and the stuff that was captured would typically go in a plastic garbage bag and it would be written in arabic typically and then there would be a computer. it would come back and it would be 48 hours old before it got to the main headquarters. it would sit there because we didn't have translators to do it. when i went and took over i went in this room there was a pile of this stuff that hadn't been read or exploited as we call it, digested for intelligence. counterinsurgency or counter terrorism is all about intelligence. whoever knows the most wins. and so we had this incredible inability to digest information, process it and then operate. we started to get where we could be a little bit faster
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but we developed a system called f-3-ea, find, fix, finish, exploit, and analyze. that is the cycle you go through. you find somebody, you fix them in a location at a time now, you finish by capturing or killing, you exploit whatever you capture, you analyze that and you learn from it. it is basically a learning cycle. learning then action. we would do that. and we would go through that process but it would be painfully slow because we were operating with different organizations, not all organic to mind and different agencies, intelligence agencies and what not. and this may surprise you but not all parts of the u.s. government work together seamlessly. [laughter] so here we are, as this cycle and we have these things, what we call blinks between the parts and so one element would find a target but by the time the information got to the people who were going to fix it usually with a predator or something like that to
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make sure they're there then, time would have passed and accuracy of information, fidelity would have passed. then it would be passed over to the raid force. again you have a loss. like the game telephone where you whisper around the room, it is untellable by the fifth person we're trying to do things in that system. we said this is madness. it won't work. we went on a campaign to fix that process, bringing in different parts of the organization, building intelligence capacity. giving ourselves a mind-set that was different before. if each element did its part of the process they could take pride, we succeeded, we did what we were told. we wiped that clean, nobody is successful unless the whole process works. the definition of winning is the same for all of us, only if we win this fight. that was quite a bit different than what we had had. by the summer of things got really bad, starting in late march of 2004 in iraq. that's when the country basically melted down.
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and we started operating as hard as we could in on tempo, that marks refer to is on operational tempo. how fast you can operate. we realized the size of abu musab al-zarqawi's network we would have to hit it a lot. we wouldn't be able to hit it once a month. by august of 2004 we got up to 18 raids a month, or about every other night. we thought we were moving at warp speed. literally we thought this is the most amazing thing we've ever done. we are the most efficient and effective special operations task force on the face of the earth, we were, but we were still losing. so we came to the conclusion that we have got to speed up more. and there had been this fixation on just going after the senior leaders of an organization or they call high-value targeting, decapitation. and we came to the conclusion that wasn't going to work. it was sort of simple. we started the war if we got
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abu musab al-zarqawi the whole thing would fall apart. think of any organization you ever been in, when the key person is taken out does it really get it worse? i worked in the pentagon. it would have made it a lot better. so we realized you really have to go after the people who do the work, people who do logistics, communications, pass information, do car bombs, you have to take those out. we came up with a strategy, philadelphia would love this. it is like rocky balboa and apollo creed. we'll hit them in the midsection and hit them a lot. from august of 2004 when we did 18 raids, two years, later, same month, same force, same fight, we were doing 300 raids a month. that was ten a night. now, if you stop and you say, well, ten a night, that's a lot, that's impressive. that means every raid guy on the force is going on a raid at least one raid every night. every pilot's flying one or 2:00 raids every night.
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and these raids are not patrols. this is not with foot, these are going in the door, somebody is getting shot. extraordinary, and to do that though you can't use previous systems. one you've got to be able to bring in this intelligence on an industrial scale. you have got to be able -- we got to the point where instead of the plastic baggings information on a target we would start to exploit their computers, their phones. we would take biometric data. it would be pumped back to west virgina right from the target to see if we ever had that person before and if we ever even had any dealings with them. we would move the documents back. immediately scan them. send them back to multiple places in the u.s. and in theater and everybody would be analyzing at the same time and we would be trying to turn this to learn as quickly as we could. we got to the point where we could hit three targets a night from the initial intelligence. we would fine joe smith at 9:00 at night because we had been looking for him.
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we would find out from what we got on that target about john doe, we might hit that at midnight and we would hit another at 3:00 in the morning and the reason it was important to go fast is because terrorist networks repair themselves very quickly. as soon as, if we were terrorists, as soon as mark is captured, pretty soon i'm going to hear about it and the first thing i do, i move my location. i change my, all those things, connections that i have. you call it cuttouts because it moves to repair itself. so you have to be quicker than they can repair themselves both to hit targets and also quicker than they can promote new people up, develop new leaders. and over time we started seeing the relative age of leaders of al qaeda in iraq go down and relative effectiveness go down because of that. and so the optempo became the rocky balboa strategy, pummel it as fast as you can so it can't breathe and then over time, have the decisive effect on it which we
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actually did along with another, a number of other factors. >> one of the things i think that's very interesting to me about that change, and increasing the tempo is the role that technology played. i mean obviously we've seen the development of drones. we've seen the application of super computers. one of the things that you did was move intelligence analysts out into belad, into your base there, integrating everything up front. can you talk about that a little bit, the role technology played? >> yeah. there are several things of technology that changed the fight. one is obvious. it was predators. it wasn't drone strikes. it was drone surveillance because you put a surveillance that gives you full motion video, means that anywhere in our force to include the guys on the ground could watch what the predator's watching in full-time video or real-time video. the real effect of that is several. one is, where it used to
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take, let's say 120 people to raid a target, when only 20 were going inside, it takes 100 to secure it outside to make sure you don't get people reinforcing, what not. if you can do it from the air you only send 20. now, the other 100 can hit five other targets. so we could hit six targets in the time we're hitting one and you know so much more. also you can put drones over and you can watch people all the time f we decided to watch someone in this room all the time pretty soon we would know what you call pattern of life. we would know where you go, who you hang out with, what you do. we know-how you walk, we know all those things or whether you're good or bad or involved in the insure again i s so you build up this knowledge. suddenly you're very precise. you're not going out picking up a unabout much people and trying toe figure out who is good or bad. you start to know a lot. that was one technology that dramatically changed it. the other was night vision. we had night vision on all of our force, helicopters,
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everyone. that meant you could see in the dark but in firefights were absolutely dominant because we put laser aiming fights in the weapon. in the fight against the enemy at night, they're not as well-trained as our guys but we have the incredible dominance. so firefights ratio is probably 1,000 to one in terms of people getting hit back. now the problem is we don't have that many guys. so the ones mount up. every time you lose a person it's a huge cost, because they're so well-trained and so valuable but you still, you have dominance and you have the willingness to go places and do things that you wouldn't otherwise. the other one that's less obvious is just the ability to communicate, video teleconferences and not so much radio but, video teleconference. we did use radios but for example, we would take all of our radio nets that was happening on the ground. we would pick them up and we would put them into our classified computer network
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system. so every, we had a technology that allowed you to sit at your laptop wherever you were in afghanistan, iraq, anywhere, you could watch from above what's happening and you could listen to their radio nets from our side down to, at the team level. now, do you say i could then micromanage. we didn't. we never micromanaged but you could reach down and you had this situational awareness which allows you to know what is going. something starts to go bad. you move medevac, you move fire support and do a lot of things to help that force very quickly. the other thing that it does, if you're going to be effective against an enemy network you have to be a better network than they are. now think what your network in life is. it may be the people in your church, in your community group, where you work, what you do, family, could be a combination of things and how you communicate with them determines often the strength of how you share information. you know people for 50 years. you know them pretty well. you don't need to
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communicate as often. we started every day with a 90-minute video teleconference with the whole command, thousands of people. and we pumped information. we had a conversation about updates on intelligence, updates what happened, updates on operations. senior leaders, every day i'm on it. with all the people so everybody here is a senior leader every day and they hear the conversations plus they're hearing information go up and go down. so we created what we called shared consciousness so the whole organization knows what we think the situation is, what's happening, where it's going. which the effect is it decentralizes decision making. if everybody knows what the corporate leadership knows what we think or explain it, they don't have to come up for decisions they know what to do. they know to make them. we didn't ask them to come up with decisions. i didn't make tactical decisions hit target x or y because i wanted them to do that. i gave them an effect. here's what you got to do in it area. you have to create this
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effect. you have to defeat this network. you figure out how to do it. only thing i did was constant pressure and that revolutionized the way we could operate and it was communication at the heart of it. >> one of the things that you mentioned in your book, general, is how the emotional impact that this kind of videoconferencing had on say, an intelligence analyst working in a cubicle in langley who is getting briefed by the guy who went out and acted on the information they just provided. what kind of effect did that have? >> you think about, we talked about cultural differences and one of the things about special operators is you're brought up to have this tribal culture. it's very macho and it is a little bit intimidating intentionally so. so people who deal with them often are a little hesitant and but the operators don't have all the expertise. you really have it in your intel people and what not and as we started to grow we became a meritocracy because
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we were communicating so much. in one case i remember vtcs, you would see an operator communicating right back with a young analyst back in the united states or somewhere and the operation had a curve because of what the analyst had done and the operator's going hey, jim, great job. you know, all part of the team now. another case you would go into our forward headquarters. we pushed operators everywhere and we rotated analysts so everybody operated forward and back part of the time. i would see a big macho operator leaning over a plywood table everything in the command was plywood and there would be a 22-year-old female analyst weighing 98 points and she has her finger in his chest. when you do this you have to do x, x and he is taking it because it became a meritocracy. it wasn't perfect. this took years for us to get to, don't get me wrong. there were stops and starts and constant stresses but it was key. suddenly everybody owned the problem. >> right. one of the things you also
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touch on in your book is the evolution of interrogation which is a very hot topic here. you mentioned that early on, you know, there was a use of these enhanced interrogation methods. you evolved away from that. can you talk about that a little bit? >> sure. how many people here have ever run a prison or an interrogation facility? [laughter] that's how many we had in my command. and if you think about it, go back to 9/11, and the first response is okay, what do we do? how do we do this? we start capturing very serious terrorists. so what do you do? well, we'll bring the specialists in. there literally weren't any. so you bring the specialists in, how do we do this? people go back to history books. there's manual how to interrogate but most the manuals written in the military were designed to, in a conventional war between two armies where you capture private x of the soviet army and you will ask
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him questions. that is the way they were designed. we're talking about guys that are in a terrorist network and some pretty hardened people. so we had to learn our way through it. as you can see the nation had to come to grips with how we feel about this we're still doing that with guantanamo and where we're going to try people. it is still an ongoing discussion. but if you remember after 9/11 people jumping out of the twin towers holding hands to their death it was a different period. everybody wants to remember it now as we're sitting in philadelphia. . .
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the nation had to come to grips with that, how we do it. a couple of things. first, we learned the best way to get information as long. the conversation. very respectful, very persistent. the individual time that is too spiritual adviser for abu mosab al-zarqawi. i take this into great detail in my book. we had him for weeks. at one point we get movie night with him. two primary interrogators developed his close relationship. they've been talking every day and finally said with ticket might often have a movie. they all three sat there together and watched a movie. it is the exercise.
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[laughter] but that's the way we did it. and over time which you try to do is convince that person they want to communicate. go do it for lots of reasons. sometimes because they're scared of being prosecuted within iraqi law. sometimes because there goes full. sometimes they're worried about their family. in a range of reasons and interrogators want to use whatever reason say they at the end of the day, you've got to convince them they want to give you information. the problem with treacher, multiple levels of problem and torture. the first is there sort of an academic argument of whether it works or not, in the interest i don't know. haven't tortured anybody. it's almost irrelevant. what happens is you hurt yourself. the torturer crosses the line and becomes something different to much a race to be and believe in.
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once he do that, i don't think you can come back very easily. the problem uto bread the press of time. abu mosab al-zarqawi with killing thousands of iraqis as many as our guys as well. you feel the press of time and you also see your comrades being killed. you see this extraordinary thing and say i've got to stop. he has justified the means and you have to stop there. it does and because you the forest. the other thing that happens is the worst thing in the whole war in iraq as abu grave because it happened as those pictures came out we believed were in operation. but too many people in the muslim world, there is positive america does that by policy. thousands of young men from north africa, syria, saudi arabia and other countries because they exceed abu grave and had to join the jihad for that reason.
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essentially we had to kill most of them. but they are amped up on a vision of some pain.net preconceptions about the u.s. so if you let terror or torture become a policy, but it happens. demobilize your fellow. mathematically increase your flow and mobilize them. any information in my view is much less valuable than the cost of getting it. >> i could ask your customer questions, but i think i'll share the wealth. this is on television, so we have speakers. amplifiers. so we have to come give them to you. >> all-star with my friend, trudy rubin. >> should i stand up or does? trudy rubin -- >> the push-up position, trudy.
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[laughter] >> you have said and written makes you feel terms alone is an insufficient policy. i wonder if you aid talk about why you feel that and given the weariness of the united states on the afghan conflict and the ineptness and corruption of the afghan government, wiki think is the most effect of thing we could do and should do after 2014. >> sure. first, i think unmanned aerial vehicles for drones astronaut that are extraordinarily good for defense and modesty things we couldn't otherwise do. so they need to be part of what we do. that said, if we issued a bunch of drones to the philadelphia police department and said go
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out to pitcher a prominent philadelphia, they'd be able to figure out drug dealers. they reshoot drug dealers with missiles and in fact, they would be right in many cases. but if you think you saw the drug problem, you probably would not. and in some cases, you would make it worse because many people would experience the explosion, even though they knew the person was a drug dealer, they'd be offended by the fact that you do that. put that in a sovereign country and suddenly you have a very effective tool of hsa perception of one, violation of sovereignty. two, a perception even though the thought he only killed people absolutely guilty, the perception of every one is that they were civilians there, non-combat. and so very quickly is the impression the united states uses powerbasic arrogant. when that happens, uses
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potential support. if i'm correct, and it may be a little dated two days, but american popularity is not high. at one point in his blow in the out. that's impossible. the people most upset were not people of the waziristan region where most of the drone strikes occurred. during other parts of the country. they're outraged about the theory of that, but it's important because people act on the perception. i think we need to have that capability. we need to use it, but we need to be really made sure how we think about it. we need to think about our process because you create negative forces that even well-intentioned dinks. so it's got to be balanced. >> the gentleman in the sweatshirt back here. >> was the second part? i forgot it.
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i do not >> probably should repeat that. >> the question is with the war weariness in the situation the ground in afghanistan, what should our policy be? the answer is they can't have a perfect description. i can't count how many troops are to be there. but i do think a centerfold. people say we shouldn't be in afghanistan. we are there. two, we went for a reason, not for afghanistan. we went because it met our goal to give it about qaeda. we have been in the taliban government and set the country sorted into free play, we develop some kind of moral responsibility for helping them get it right. third, geostrategic plates in america in the world's interest to have a stable region.
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if afghanistan were unstable, acting pakistan's stability would be very tenuous and it challenges anyway, but i think it's important. my view is that we need to do is be persistent and consistent in the region. the reason people are so nervous is because in 2004 the inc. were going to leave and they seemed asleep before. in 1989 returned from the region. it doesn't matter whether each afghan style that appeared its become a commonly accepted truth that we left in 1989 and they're starting to think we're going to walk in 2014 and there will be nobody they can rely on. they'll have other strategic allies. so what they looking for is the idea of a long-term strategic partnership. i don't think that the specific number of troops. i think it's the idea you got an ally somewhere in their fear as they are very far away.
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i can't do president karzai one day and i said what do you want to future years? how many u.s. troops see what you're? he says i'm not worried about u.s. troops. i want u.s. business. and i want you to be here making money. i said that's interesting. he said if you're making money love interest in our stability. will be good for you and for us. the fear is that lamott, don't make anything we need, so we won't care. pakistan actually has many same feelings. people say pakistan wants us out of the reason i'm trent region. they want us to be consistent and stay there. they're afraid we will come in and pull out and up and things and cause issues. the >> i am a vietnam veteran and i've been in the peace movement for the last 30 years. i was also in iraq in december
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december 04 and try to get in the parking lot at the abu ghraib present and of course they would not let a sane. my question is kind of the elephant in the room. i see our current military is dealing with the american people, who of course pay their way is dealing meant to disturb modes, one secrecy in one public relations. nicu is a master of one leg in each of those. you of course are one star prefer for the press. my question is given the vast amount of seat receipt that is necessary for the culture you're evolving, third really help me i would concede, it doesn't ever concern you what impact this has on democracy? and the citizenship it really
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doesn't know what the heck you are doing. to me it's a very important question and i think it would rest in the things you do and i wonder if that concerns you at all. >> if i understand your question right, and in many ways i'd argue that bit in the peace movement for a long time as well, if i understand your questioncome your way to put the balance necessary secrecy and wider secrecy because there is a certain amount of secrecy if you have a son or daughter serving in central information is given on the whereabouts or plans, i think that's a very real problem. if we have any desire to collect intelligence and oil from sources, people want to give it their identities and safety must be protected.
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i think it's balanced against your wider point, witches or the american people informed about the policy? i don't know if you've read daniel ellsberg wrote. i read the books the earth in 2005 when it came out and he of course was the guy who copied the pentagon papers and propagated them out of there. it was a very interesting book. i've been a student of vietnam before that, but his basic outrage came after being part of the pentagon papers study is what it was, he came to the conclusion that american policymakers weren't. they had done analysis after analysis and kept coming to the conclusion what they needed to do in vietnam was asked, but politically they were only willing to do why, so they were following policy white cynically, knowing the probability of success was low.
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so they took a politically expedient route against a policy prescription actually said if you wanted to succeed you are going to have to do. so i thought a lot about that is in three days and it's a difficult question to ask because you asked yourself at each stage, what do the american people now? how much are they supposed to know? we struggle today with trying to explain something as complex as afghanistan and not doing it in an organized mass manner. if you go back to world war ii, someone could put up a map and show progress across the country. it would be hard to do that for afghanistan and iraq isn't so complex. when you're there, you constantly grapple with what truth is. i could go to afghanistan to write 15 stories about how convinced you afghanistan is an utter disaster. they would all be true.
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i could write 15 stories that convince you afghanistan is a tremendous amount of progress and is a good thing. they would all be true. the problem is what is truth overall. everyone wrestles with that. i didn't see a lot of effort to defeat the american people. i didn't see people trying to get things wrong. i saw bad decisions they disagreed with. i saw people wrestling with near-term media pressure. we all could've in the morning trying to get through that day and sometimes we go we should've been reading about next year and i saw some of that, but i didn't see a lot of evilness to deceive the american people. but i haven't seen that the fact of a process for a truly informed debate on policy issues. like iraq, like afghanistan, like syria. a few months ago upon the upon the skin with a too get into
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syria tomorrow. we have to see the syrians. whether that's right or wrong, i don't think there was well-informed guess most of what i heard is people are dying so we've got to go there and the responses okay, what side are you going to be on? you've got to figure that out first. so i'm not a conspiracy theorist because i've been involved close enough to know there are many conspiracies to work and aren't as many secrets because most of them get leaked. they don't always get the completely accurately, that that asserted my experience. >> to shove him in the back with your hand up with the beard. wait for the microphone. >> general, when i was growing up, to be concerned with nuclear weapons, nuclear war come initial deterrents and all that sort of thing. that sort of faded away with the soviet union et cetera, yet we still hear about nuclear
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capability of so-called rogue nations like north korea and iran and this constant drumbeat of what happens if iran succeeds or the north koreans have a weapon that can reach america. i'm curious to know your give him where we stand in the nuclear arena in the world whether we have adequate defenses. should be wary worried about missiles from north korea? should we be worried about israel attacking iran, all these things that mayonnaise. >> that's a great question. i would be worried about it. nothing destruction on the road is anywhere close to five minutes to midnight or one minute to midnight because of the miscalculation in warwick and civilization as we know it. i don't think that this is likely now. however, what you had is nuclear perforation of not only weapons, but also technology and understanding of it. at some point it gets too
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responsible that there is. the whole idea of nuclear strategy in the fifth ease, 60s and 70s was based upon the fact your opponent was a rational actor who have something to lose. the danger is to make it a weapon and don't perceive they have anything to lose. whatever one may scared about with north korea is dramatic leadership, although they've been a rational actor in the sewer, there's the concern. the thing about iran that worries people so much as they had an irresponsible using hezbollah and other surrogates and president ahmadinejad does not inspire confidence in the west. there's a sense they don't have to destroy the world. all they have to do is get a few weapons because of where they are and what they can do, they can do irreparable damage to
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israel or saudi arabia. so what's the word that threshold. they have to do as much, but if they did any of that, would be very painful for people involved. even worse is the next step, once you get beyond the nationstate, one thing good is the to deceive hagiographical plays to go with adequate nuclear weapons or weapons of mass distraction. a terrorist organization don't have one. they have nothing to hold at risk. they can use complete irresponsibility and there you are. they will destroy the world, that they don't have to. i think we should be very worried about it. what nuclear and biological and chemical weapons are a threat, cyberweapons are coming into the
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same area because the barrier to entry for cyberattack is pretty though. you don't have to have a lot of stuff to go after somebody's cybersystem, so we need to be more resilient and hard. >> gentleman in a suit with this handout. keep your hand at. >> thank you. gentleman, you know -- what happened in the diocese? -- in benghazi? >> i had a very classified reefing and i can't share that sense, but i will tell you we don't know. there was a brave ambassador and a consulate with seven americans total of local forces guarding it. but i saw to the attack looks like a very disorganized group
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of people who walked in. there was not an attack into the conflict area. they walked in an open gate. they didn't even know the ambassador was there. they started a fire in the building and he happened to be been asleep in the safe room in killed killed by smoke inhalation. at least that part of it appears from what i saw tonight been a very organizing. could it have been somebody organized and say let's go do it and execution to pretty disorganized? could've been. this strikes me morrison emerging good idea. that's to this and more people came in to do it. there is another location that involved weapons that somebody was more serious, mortars and rocket propelled grenades. but i couldn't see -- as the malacca strait is text before and that didn't appear to be one. the bigger question is what do we do about it?
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there's a certain desire to say we can put our diplomats and service people in harms way. if we can't do that, we can't be in the world. you can't put a marine battalion of the way because the host nation won't want to. you can't build fortresses and engage with people. but we've got to do is celebrate people like to master chris stevens tube type bravelycoming to get americans out dealing with people. some will be harmed, but learn the language, relationships, we will have a real interface with the world. that's about the finger-pointing has the danger of creating this fortress mentality wherever we are. >> this show moment in the corner of her here. >> good afternoon, general. thank you to you and mrs. mcchrystal for the force's initiative. i'm a marine sergeant in the reserves at work and for navy.
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the question is, do you think we're at risk of the same mistake we saw after vietnam and loosing the expertise with this potential sequester and the possibility of losing special operations funding and the hard-won expertise of our special operators? >> yeah, we are. first, the defense budget is coming down and needs to come down about. the defense budget got huge and based upon the nations finances, we've got to bring it down. but that process is already underway. people sometimes talk about we need to spend 3% or 4% of gdp for defense. i think that is a demo hersh. you could spend as much on defense as you need to defend yourself, but no more. the sequester enis different. it was designed to be sent is so
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unpalatable that sane people would never let that happen. we confuse the last part. what happens is now a few sequester in 2013 and don't make the decision until early spring, they only have the rest of the fiscal year to execute that, which means they've got to take all the cuts out of out of the last six or seven months of the year and there's a whole bunch of things you cannot cut because they are contract to. it's like saying next month to have to spend 20% last of 15% less severe and come, but in reality you know only 15% of your income is what you spent on food. everything else is around, whatever. you got your house, that you don't need. that's what happened in sequestering because he's got to take it out of areas where you have that ability. so it produces this lopsided thing. to stop sailing ships, stop
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flying planes. we sat doing things we need to do. if you're going to cut the defense budget, you have to contract consistently and carefully. it has to come down intelligently. semper fi, thanks. >> this woman right here. third row. >> general, you certainly make were signed very exciting and i'm a lot ciampi sacked to this, so it's not easy to say that. my concern is the drones and the concerns as mark bowden is saying is a tool, the ability to target far as individuals and places is a terrifying tool. how can you condone the use of drones samad indiscriminately? they seemed to be antithetical
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to the democratic process and decisions seem to be made unilaterally. i think that is inconsistent. >> they're very fair questions. i see us do it differently, but first off i don't think they're indiscriminately fire. another process events very carefully done. i use just a question, people say you can do this, but you can't do this. and if you're going to kill somebody, at the end of the day in a legal sense it doesn't matter. if the parachute and special forces until somebody as opposed to using a drug and sometimes it creates more. but there's a cultural part you are hitting on that it's really. if you are a nation, particularly a warrior nation like afghanistan or pakistan in closer and someone has to elegy
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that allows them to stand off and shoot at you with impunity, they don't respect you as a warrior. they don't think this guy came up, took his best chance to make up name. they don't respect technology. think how you would feel if you're there were drones a better view ended in a moment you could shoot. you would resent this on the present, legal entity that can reach him. there's a cultural part of many to understand it really creates a lot of resent nonpeople. the other thing i worry about more subthreshold. inc. about 1998. president clinton launched tomahawk missiles based on the embassies blown up in a staffer cut and launched tomahawks into
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this again and in east afghanistan. they hit targets. if you asked any of us in the room the next morning whether america was at work, i trust all of us would've said no. we fired some tomahawk missiles, but we are not at war. if you ask people in it the impact of this tomahawk missiles, they have a different view. so the danger it can potentially lower willingness to use force and not conservatives were and yet you build up enemies. keep other people who think they are at war with you. when did al qaeda go to war with the united states? the average answer is 9/11. al qaeda declared war against the united states in 1996. most of us didn't get the memo. but they attacked the cole, attacked east africa. the report says.
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as a danger when one side is how bored any other is an outworn both ways. the danger about this technology is that. anytime you can sit back and safety and do something for somebody else, you don't necessarily feel now. if your son or daughter is going into the target area and you are going to spend a sleepless night wearing about them, you'd have a different view of that mission. you'd be at least more connected to it. technology has the danger of blowing threshold and can become politically easier to operate without putting persons at risk, said that there was yet again. >> some amendment up for a period >> two quick questions. thank you for your service and leadership. one, do you support or oppose chuck hagel as secretary of defense? to, what is your violation of thomas ricks criticism of
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american generals since world war ii except for you and general petraeus? [laughter] >> altaic the second verse. it's painful to read about generals being criticized because a lot of it's correct. you see it and say that's me, i'm guilty of that. we had shortcomings of not being strategically enough minded. you know, you get focused on your job, your tactical part of the mission and not digging the big strategic problem you're trying to solve. one is not firing enough people. we don't fire and not generals. ..
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you know, from the senate, his time in vietnam is useful because it gives you a context. the most important thing is if he and president obama are a good team, that is what matters. though much worry about his policy positions one way or another because he will be a policy maker. the president's policies will go but the fact that the field that they can be a good team, to me that is the important thing. allows the president nominates somebody who is just, in my mind on qualify for something, i tend to think a leader should get to they want because we will hold him responsible for it. >> thank you, general
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mcchrystal. we have to stop now. [applause] thank you. >> primetime continues in a few moments with dr. fred kaplan on how the chain's u.s. military strategy from his book the insurgents. in an hour we look back at the gulf war and a collection of essays by journalists, government officials, and scholars. and jewelry year retired general mcchrystal on his memoir. several events to tell you about tomorrow. says
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>> the communism of china basically is communism in name only these days and preserves the power of the members of the communist party, but they basically, through -- opening the country up and now it has become a capitalist haven. the communism now in china, they talked at great length that these party congress is about -- as i said, is all about preserving the party's power economically as the country continues to grow because they threw aside most vestiges of communism a long time ago. in north korea is all about preserving the power of the military and the dynasty as you have. again, it really has nothing to do with, i think, what the vision of communism way back. someone to do a fascinating book
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somehow of how common is a move into asia and the first into something different in vietnam, cambodia, laos, north korea and the communism that appeared in europe and eastern european countries. and ultimately fascinating split that occurred. >> former "washington post" correspondent, now a harvard fellow on 34 years of reporting and insight from around the world sunday at 8:00 p.m. on c-span q&a. >> up next, how it general david petreaus and his advisers transform the u.s. military to fight small wars against insurgents and terrorists. spoke at the library in kentucky for an hour. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for coming out. so, i write a column called war stories. the word war is in the subtitle of my book. but if you ever read any of my
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things you might know i really don't like to ever really don't write about wars. all right battle scenes and about one of these reporters to age to get back into some more theater where i can get shot at. i admire those who do, but it is just not what i do. what i am interested in his policy and ideas. and where did these ideas come from? i mean, they don't just drop from the sky. usually they are not things that just automatically appeal to everybody as a matter of logic. where did the ideas come from? who were the people who advance the idea is? and there are a lot of competing ideas. how did this particular set of ideas get translated into policy the resistance? how was it overcome? usually is not just one person but a community of people. how did this community for? was the basis of a? that is what history is all about. it's a story. that is what the stories are
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about. it's about the interplay between personalities and politics and policy in accident, coincidence. so that is what i'm interested in. and why i -- i'm interested in how this applies to war because or -- i mean, and all of the marine is of human context this is the most high-profile denarius. it is the difference between life and death for thousands of people. is the difference between national victory in national defeat. it is the highest level, although in some ways the most brutish and in some ways the most abstract level of human place. so the stakes are very high. this is not just talking about ideas that are discussed and the university and end up in some academic journal. this affects the most high-profile level of human
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contact. so that is why i'm interested in this. that is what this book is about. i would and that also what interested me to this particular story is that it covers up the valera in american history and world history where everything is changing. the cold war is over. a new world is coming into focus. and it is still not really in focus. we are still living in this world. what is the nature of power, the nature of america's place in it. how does this group of people that i'm interested in following , how they affect what is going on? is about a generational shift. it begins, most of the book takes place during the iraqi in afghanistan war with the backdrop, but it begins with the first war, the gulf war of 1990 and '91. and i come into this, a young lieutenant who is just three years at west point.
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his tenth platoon in iraq. he just got out of west point, as i said, one of the top students. he chosen to go into the armored corps because the big war that the army was preparing for was going to become a you know, united states versus soviet union on the plains of europe. he did not steady german at west point. he got clinton the language because he figured that is where he would be spending most of his career. so he's on the planes of iraq. you might remember. a month's worth of bonding. and then a mere four days of ground operations. and just completely destroyed the iraqi military. so there he is, realizing we just destroyed the fourth -- the world's fourth largest tank army in four days. a few months before this the soviet union went up in smoke. the cold war is over.
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ever thinking, what am i going to be doing the rest of my life? what is the army going to be doing? he came with the idea that nobody is really ever going to challenge the united states again in a head-on contest of strength. it is going to be other kinds of conflicts on the side. maybe insurgencies, terrorist attacks, that sort of thing. no, he did not know anything about this because he never learned it in west point. they did not teach it was point. that did not teach it in the general staff college. so he went off to oxford and got a graduate degree in rhode book called learning to eat soup with a knife which came from lawrence of arabia's description of fighting in a guerrilla war. and he compared the british experiments -- experience in a letter which succeeded and the american experience in vietnam which didn't. he tried to figure out the
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difference. and the difference was that the americans fought in vietnam as if it were a conventional battle and the british fought in malaysia as if it was a new kind of work. actually, as we will discover a little later, there was more to it than that, but that was is in sight. so he goes back to teach. a lot of his colleagues, they are fighting these new kinds of words that are already emerging. have been fighting in el salvador or somalia or haiti or bosnia. and we realize that their army has no clue that these kinds of conflict. this is a little hard to believe, but it's true. at the time, the army to find were strictly as major combat operations, you know, tank battles against comparably mighty foes. the other kinds of complex, terrorists, insurgents, that sort of thing, they called and said military operations other than more. it was not even a war. it was him 00 t w or.
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[indiscernible] the chairman of joint chiefs of staff at the time once said real men don't to that. and yet, the real men that he was surrounded himself with, they had done it. it felt like work to them. it did not feel like they had called it the other than war wars. there were wars. no, in the meantime the main character of the book, david petreaus, one of the two people in the book that most people of heard of. later become a protege. he graduated from west point in 1974. one of his first exercises, one of his first assignments was to go join up with airborne battalions in france and italy. and while he was there he came across some books that were about counterinsurgency warfare. again, petreaus had not studied any of this and west point either, but he is reading these
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books. especially a book by a retired french colonel named david colluded called counterinsurgency warfare. comes across some ideas that he had never run across in any book that he read. for example, that these kinds of wars are only 20 percent military, 80 percent political. they are battles for the hearts and minds of the people. that in these kinds of words polygraph machine can sometimes be as useful as a machine gun. cement could sometimes be as useful as a mortar shell. this was just a revelation to him. no, several years later he goes down to el salvador, special assistant to the commander of southern command. nbc's this kind of war going on. all salvador and nicaragua, colombia and peru. he later goes to bosnia where this is not really quite well known. he was heading up a clandestine
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counter terrorist unit in bosnia soon after that he goes to the iraqi war that we all know about starting in 2003. he's part of the invasion force, commander of the 101st airborne division. he goes up to baghdad. then he is assigned to go up to north. again, this is one of these things that is hard to believe, but the united states had no plans for what to do after saddam insane fell. in fact, they deliberately had no plans. it was not an oversight. it was delivered because the plan was overthrown and get out of there, just like we overthrew with the taliban and in afghanistan. cat out of there. of course it fell apart and we had to go back. it's falling apart very, very quickly.
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we are facing an insurgency. we don't know what to do. all the officers were there have not been trained to fight this sort of work. they did not know what to do, so they do with the usually do. they down doors and the rest and kill people which, as anybody who had read would have known is counterproductive because you end up killing the wrong people. you enflamed and pass off their cousins and brothers and they become insurgence. so the insurgents. meanwhile, petreaus decides to put into effect the ideas that he has found in the books he has been reading. so he and his guys, they start setting up an election within the district council. they vet the candidates. they set up the elections. they bring in fuel trucks from turkey. they reopen universities. they then the communication systems going. they get some iraqis to open up
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newspapers. he opens up the border to syria along northern iraq. he does all this on his own. he is not doing it with the coronation of anybody. washington or baghdad or any place. in the works for a while. and he is rotated out. a brigade comes in half the size of his division lead by somebody who is spent the previous four months bashing down doors and a falls apart until somebody else comes in later. but here is where the story starts to get interesting. here is where the groups all kind of meet each other. i am condensing a lot of things, but i'm giving you the basic just. he is sent off to fort leavenworth. a lot of people did not really like patraeus. they don't like officers you are too bookish or who stood up too much. petreaus was very much guilty on both counts. so he is sent to fort leavenworth, kansas. a lot of people thinking, oh, that's great.
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the fare herd boy, we're sending him out to pasture, tralee. but he gets to fort leavenworth and you realize something. he realizes that to this is actually the intellectual center of the army. they write doctrine. they form the curriculum of the command and general staff college. they organized a national training centers. they do -- drolen append brought all these together. affecting the patterns of the next. and he says to himself as is learning all this, what kind of power see potentially has. he says, holy cow, he talks like that. he says things like holy cow, jeepers, super. he says, holy cow, they put an insurgent in charge of the general change. now, meanwhile there is a lot of meanwhiles in this book. meanwhile, there is a professor at the school of advanced international studies.
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the historian. also, a leading neo conservative. one of the people signing petitions that we have to invade and overthrow by force. he is also a member of the defense policy advisory board. and so he goes over to take a look at what's going on. he's the only member of the board that goes there and sees that it's a disaster. nobody knows what to do about it. no, he comes back really upset. the pains of gilts. he was advising this administration. he had advocated for this work. his son who graduated from harvard had recently joined the army. was going to be sent. he was going to be sent into this mess that he sort of helped create. so he thinks -- well, he has to do something about this. so he sets up a seminar in
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vermont. he goes to his rolodex and through military journals. he invites everybody that he can find who has written anything remotely interesting about the subject of counterinsurgency. he comes up with about 30 people they all assemble for five days to discuss these things. the pivotal thing about this meeting is not so much what they discussed as that they met. most of these people did not know each other before. they did not know of one another's existence. they thought they were out on a limb, you know, a daring them. nobody was going to read. weigh against what was going on in the mainstream army. a lot of these people were junior officers. some of them were mid-level officials within tintypes. in the realize, they form the community. and they might be able to do something if their work together so they come away from basin harbor with a great sense of mission. one of these people.
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meanwhile, sitting in leavenworth tomatoes a lot of these people who are at this conference. some were his students or his colleagues were people who had been under his command. and he decides, one thing he was going to do in leavenworth is right and to counter insurgency field manual for the army. there had not been one for 20 years. he draws on this group from the basin harbor conference to do his inner circle. to beat the people that helped him write this conference. in other words, outside the usual doctrinal channels within the army. so four things happened at the end of 2006. one, there are made your intern elections, democrats when. bushfires rumsfeld and hires robert gates. to, it is announced that petreaus will be going back as the top commander.
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number three, bush announces that he is ordering a surge of troops. you know, something over 20,000. and he has chosen a strategy to essentially a counterinsurgency strategy. he calls it clear, bold, and build, which was an old phrase that came from some of these books, the idea being if you clearing area of insurgents in the stay there, you hold it, you don't just turn it over right away who aren't yet capable of holding it. you stay there. and then they help build an infrastructure to melt the government provide basic services, build trust within the community, help build a security structure. so these four things did not happen by coincidence. it was all part of this plot. by the way, when i use the word plot to my generally and not a conspiracy guy. these people refer to themselves as a plot. they call themselves mccall says was a west point mafia because a lot of them came out of the
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social science department of west point, which had a tradition of forming networks upsets among their own graduates. this was very conscious. for example, all this happened not by coincidence. for example, petreaus, when he was in leavenworth, he was not just sitting there. he was -- he had a vast network of old colleagues throughout the pentagon bureaucracy. he is reaching out to them. he deliberately forms a back channel. he cultivates this woman in the white house who was president bush's chief advisor on iraq for the national security council. he sees that she was kind of wavering from the existing policy. he cultivates her from a back channel. talking on the phone practically every day. now, picture this. really kind of outrageous. patraeus, a three-star general in fort leavenworth. he's talking on the phone every day with the senior adviser to
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the president of the united states. she will be asking him, you know, general casey, the four-star general actually commanding troops, he says we all need one more brigade. he would muster these arguments that she could funnel to receive gifts on why this really isn't enough. so, you know, when it comes to washington, out of the way restaurants -- by the way, this is not a paula bravo situation. strictly professional. can you imagine? this is someone. he is essentially subverting the chain of command. his own views across. he is always kind of an off the reservation guy. he had gone his own way in doing what was necessary here in leavenworth. doing what needs to be done. at the same time their is a civilian analyst who had a huge history.
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the american enterprise institute. they use their connections to get this study into the white house directly into president bush into the pentagon to the new secretary of defense to some of the subordinates who are chasing the restrictions. so they basically, by the time he becomes the top commander, everything is all roundup. it's all lined up so that he can go and and impose the strategy that he wants to impose with the full imprimatur of the united states government, army and the president of the united states. this is not a coincidence. it has all been very exclusively coordinated. so he gets there. and what does he do? there are few things the does. they speak to his whole approach one thing that was already starting to happen was the
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awakening. you might remember this was a pivotal moment in the war when the militants in western iraq had been allied with al qaeda and shooting and americans, taking several steps to far, getting upset. they want to break in their is a very creative colonel who also came out of this group, by the way, who convinces a lot of them to switch over to our side and to fight al qaeda. c-span2 realizes what is going on and decides to apply this formula throughout the country, throughout tribes everywhere. and he does this by setting a program called the sons where he pays these militants to switch. no, he pays them out of his commanders discretionary fund. no, discretionary fund, it's usually for things like the pace
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and that is with the sidewalk or to set up a local eggs hillary neighborhood watch. he's paying militants who have been shooting at american's two weeks earlier. as far as anybody knows my she at them again two months and. basically running the war. the same time he figures he has to be even-handed -- he needs to go after these malicious. the bond that neighborhood. trimester malachi had told his predecessor, stay out of the city because the head of that militia was some kind of alliance. ♪ consensus does it. he senses guys in. does not wait for any approval. so that is kind of how he operates. within nine months this is actually working. there is a huge decline in sectarian violence. there is a huge decline in casualties of all kinds.
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but here is where we come into the problem. and the problem with the counterinsurgency. general. petraeus had said all along that what his goal was to the whole idea of this campaign was to create some breathing space. it is zone of security so that the iraqi factions can get there act together. they can forge a coherent government without having to worry about getting blown up perry to minutes. the problem was that malachi, the leader had no interest in doing any of this. he had no interest in setting up in oil revenue show planned. he had no interest in bringing in a lot of these militants into the iraqi army which had been promised. he had no interest in selling property disputes. and so will we see no, although
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at a much, much lower level in most of the case, the continuation of sectarian violence and an unstable state. no, afghanistan. afghanistan is where these problems with the theory sort of meet their water. he gets word from iraq, a miracle worker. he is sent -- i'm condensing a bit, but he is sent to afghanistan. the idea is maybe you can do this in afghanistan. and obama, at least as an experiment bought on to the idea, let's to a surge in afghanistan. a partial counterinsurgency strategy in nuncio works. so he goes there. the problem is, well, members of the book that i mentioned which petraeus and others are consulting regularly. it's actually a very good book.
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there is one chapter in that book called conditions for a successful insurgency. he lists the different characteristics of a country that might make it just really fertile ground for a successful insurgency. they include a very corrupt central government, a largely illiterate, rural population, mountainous terrain along the borders, neighboring states that are used as sanctuary by the insurgents. you just go down the list. it's a description of afghanistan. he even draws a diagram of what the typography of this ideal insurgent territory with look like. you can do an overlay of this diagram with the map of afghanistan. so he knows billion that this really is extremely long odds at best. you know, when he was a top commander, that was his third
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tour of duty. he really knew the country. afghanistan he did not know at all, but is bringing in this same entourage. they don't know afghanistan either. and, of course, you know, this is common to all of us. we go into a new situation and look at it through the prism of what we know. he had written the power point slides. on one of them he always put afghanistan is not a rock. and yet i was told by well over a hundred -- five to be well over a hundred people and it to me that every time this problem cannot he would say, well, we did it this way. here's how we solve that problem. at one time in a meeting with the afghani president he said, well, you know, when this problem happened in baghdad we did it like this. and his assistant who was in the room with and who had worked in afghanistan was walking of there're many says, you know, it might be a useful intellectual experiment for you to try not to
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think about a rock and all. and he says, working on it. i'm working on it. but it just never felt together. the situation, there were ingredients there. there was a fertile ground for counterinsurgency strategy to work, at least in certain areas we and the local tribesmen have common interests. it does not work when you don't have common interests. which leads to kind of a final observation, and it comes from another one of these counterinsurgency experts were some claimed. the ends up -- counterinsurgency . actually it was an australian colonel who had been -- came over to the united states and was picked up as a consultant because he seemed to be so smart about these things. and he was responsible for a lot of the ideas and how to put the ideas into effect. he wrote some memoirs that were
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widely read by junior officers in the field. and in 2008 he is realizing, you know, he has had a blown it. he had always thought -- and a lot of these guys but that invading was a really stupid idea. once we were there in the insurgency is there, we get to fight them. and here is how you do that. but he'll always thought, it's not my job to advise on policy. that's a political thing. if you don't like it you should throw out the people you elected. i'm here to try to make the situation as good -- you know, i'm trying to minimize the catastrophe. but he is realizing, as the expert, i really should advise on the policy. at the time he was a special adviser to secretary of state. he puts together a counterinsurgency manuel for the
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civilian part of the government because it was always thought that civilian bureaucracy should get involved in this. except he decided not to let this, you know, mid-level bureaucrats but for the policymakers. and in a couple places see rates, it is folly. those were the words he chose. it is folly to even begin to undertake a counter insurgency campaign abroad unless you have some idea that the country that you are helping is interested somewhat in reform. remember the thing about the 20 percent military committee percent political. the insight that these guys have about these kinds of words is that insurgency's actually grow out of the social situation. the appeal to the people because the government is falling short on doing certain things. whether it is generally or opportunist italy, they offer an alternative. and what counterinsurgency has to do is not only go after the
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bad guys, but to co-ops and come out to dry up the support for them by showing that the government, by helping -- shoring up the government so that it can do its job. he is saying -- the government just isn't going to do the job. he should just take out pretty also said, policymakers must -- policymakers must do a calculation of whether they do seem inclined to reform before the gallon. no, the problem, this manual came out on january 13th, 2009. so the new administration is coming in one week later. nobody read something from the old administration. in fact, this really did not even represent the old administration, but it would have been the obama administration well to read this. you might remember @booktv going to end with this one thing and then i will take questions. you might remember the last half of 2009. there were these ten meetings
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with obama and his national security team to figure out what to do afghanistan. and it was a big intermural argument about this. in the end obama decided, okay. and going to give you the 40,000 troops you want. actually, it was 33,000 plus 7,000 from nato. and we will do a counterinsurgency strategy in the south, the cities in the south. but here is the thing. after 18 months -- in other words after the search is over, i'm going to start withdrawing some of the surge troops and can you tell me that within that time, within 18 months you can turn around the situation so much that the afghan army can take the lead in the fight in the majority of the districts. they all said, yes, sir. no question. in fact, petraeus knew that it would take much longer in this. these kinds of things go on for
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years. and he was asked by someone after words, why did you say yes? and he had two answers. he said, well, it really wasn't that kind of a meeting. he was looking for advice. he was looking for a take-it-or-leave-it. my view is when you're a general inter called upon to give military advice to the president, no matter what, whether you think is a game going on, he's not really asking for advice. is your responsibility to give correct military advice. the second one was a gamble appeared he thought, if i make enough progress he will have to go on. you will have to go deeper. no, obama had said that this meeting, listen, this is all your going to get. don't think you can come back in 18 months and say, you know, mr. president, i think three more brigades will really do the trick. this is it. so no coincidence, within 18 months almost to the day, obama appears and says that he is pulling out all of the surge troops, not just three or 5,000
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of them, which is what the military advice, but all of them over the next year because basically it had not worked. now, he had a good situation because he could portray this as a victory. we really had decimated taliban troops in the field. the afghan army really was getting better. but you need the extra 33,000 troops to do all that. so he changed the mission. you know, what has happened since is that counterinsurgency has kind of disappeared because of the failure of afghanistan is now being abandoned as something that we really should not do. we are going through, you know, we are reverting back to a new american way of war which involves a very small footprints , drones from the sky, very small commando raids from a kind of the opposite of counterinsurgency. and on the one hand, well, you know, we're not sending 100,000
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troops to up molly ore. the, but on the other hand i feel that what this does to is it sets up this illusion we're going back to the syndrome of military operations other than war, you know, i'm sure that if somebody asked you to our we have war? are we ever were in molly? are we have more in the sudan. no. nobody's getting killed. there are people on the ground. but, that's the problem with these kinds of things. it creates this antiseptic -- antiseptic flavor of war and deprives us of the few of the mayhem and chaos on the ground. and it does suck us into these conflicts. it might be a very good wafer handling this, but we should never be fooled into thinking that this is a war and that war, you know, is a serious thing can at least for the people who are subjected to it, whether it's a lot of troops or whether its
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missiles raining from the sky. so i'm willing to take whenever questions you have. >> all start. i will start with one. where will we next go to war or deeper? >> well, quite a few places already. we are assisting the french. by the way, you know, i am not against some of these things. you know, let's take molly for example. somebody -- one of obama's advisers stupidly told the new york reporter that his policy is to lead from behind. people made fun of this. but there's something to it. it happens. the french have a vital interest. they go in with 2500 troops. they ask us for help. well, you know, we don't have vital interests, but we are interested in keeping al qaeda from taking over a big swath of
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northern africa so we say, yes. we will do some things that you are incapable of doing. we provide some long-range aircraft that could carry weapons and people. we provide drones for surveillance. we did the same kind of thing in libya, providing unique capabilities. but we let the people with the more vital interest take the lead. a lot of this, all of this is being done by the cia, most of the. drones, in particular accepting explosive war theaters like in afghanistan, it's controlled by the cia. one thing that the new secretary of defense, one thing he wants to do and some of the intelligence chiefs also want to turn this back over to the military so that at least it's not embroiled in secrecy from the beginning. a cia operation that is by nature secret.
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you don't know anything about it. at least it will be out in the open a bit. >> so was the level if any of petraeus in writing of the book? and what is his reaction after being published? >> well, i interviewed about 110 people for this book. one thing, he has always been very solicitous of the reporters , including me, i have to admit. he has to motives. and everybody knows it. one is, he kind of likes to iran with reporters. second, he sees it as what the military would call information operations. or as the french lessees and missed it -- euphemistically call it propaganda. this is a way of getting the word out. you -- and you know, it works. the thing about petraeus, an irony. i can tell you as a reporter, there were four-star generals in
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the years before petraeus. you go meet with them. you come away thinking, gosh, what kind of outfit is the army that a guy like this can become a four-star general? it's just -- and then you go talk with a guy like petraeus. well, this guy is a smart guy. he knows history. he understand strategy. he thinks strategically. and you are inclined to think, well, you know, maybe he knows what he's doing here. and so you give him a break. then, well, it is the trade-offs that go with sources and the people in washington. so and it was this kind of thing, you know, you knew what he was doing. he knew that you knew where he was doing, but you kind of went with it anyway because it was interesting. it was useful to both sides. and what he thinks of the book, i don't know. when he emerges from his exile somebody should ask in.
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>> you just mentioned hegel. is he going to get confirmed nor is the senate going to block that? >> well, i think he is probably going to get confirmed. i watched a little bit of the hearings today. you know, it is a handful -- it is several republicans who don't like him. but let's parsed this. the two things substantively the people -- that his critics are bothered by by the fact that he did not support the search and so what kind of judgment you have. and the whole business about his saying that the jewish lobby has intimidated many people in congress. the surge. the fact is almost everybody posed a surge. if you want to get after people because they did not support the surge, get after hillary clinton. she voted against it. get after barack obama. he voted against it. get after the entire joint
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chiefs of staff at the time. there were all against the surge . and you can make the case that the surge worked in a tactical way. still hasn't worked in its ultimate, strategic objectives for reasons that i discussed. and in the meantime it did cost a lot of money and probably, you know, i thousand extra american soldiers died in the implementation of that surge. was the work that? i don't know. i don't know. we don't know yet. but it is not -- it is not a clear-cut fact that the surge worked and we won and that sort of thing. as for the jewish lobby question , you know, let's get real. the israeli press -- i'm jewish. the israeli press refers to apec as the jewish lobby. it's a little -- a pack has had this thing going for years where anybody who criticizes israel, oh, well, you are anti-semitic. you're really talking about
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jews, not talking about is real. so if somebody says, okay, the jewish lobby then they say, no, you are anti-semitic because you called it the jewish lobbyists of the israeli lobby. it is power in words. listen. i know jews in nebraska were hegel was a senator. they never got any sense that, you know, that there was anti-semitism in terms of his trip -- strategic wisdom. he had been president obama's -- he has been the chair of the president's intelligence advisory board. and i talked with some people who have sat at meetings with an you know. they get access to all the intelligence information that the cia director and other people get. you know, i have been told, and these are people who have no, you know, they have no dog in this whatsoever. well, he discussed the issues in a very serious way. he asked questions. they don't seem to be any of ideological tilt, including questions about the iranian nuclear program.
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he handled it very professionally. he supposedly rehearsed for these hearings. a quality of his answers when it came under questioning from mccain, it was kind of pathetic. but i don't know. i am pretty sure that the votes are all lined up for him to win. you know, you never know about these things. >> thank you for your talk. can you tell me what you think of the role of the military and this low intensity conflict? in other words, where -- what is the role of the state department? there is no doubt that the army was very, very effective in reducing the enemy. but then it seems that they got a job of social political and economic restructure. i'm not sure that's the military role. and, by the way, i think they landed, they landed fast, and they did it well. but where was the state
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department and all of the, the department of agriculture and all of these other economics and political arms that we have in these kind of situations. >> here's the problem. and there were some state department and aid people out and what they called provisional we construction teams. but they needed to be attached to a military brigade or a military battalion for security. they were doing this while shooting this. it was not like postwar germany where essentially there really was a surrender. the war was over and these massive, you know, occupation teams that were just reconstruction people came and. there -- there was still fighting going on. they need security. the other thing, and this has been realized by some of these counterinsurgency people slowly, you know, the united states government is not set up like a colonial government.
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when the british had their colonies, the french and their colonies, they really control the place. and every department that was -- the british managing india. there was a hole in the bureaucracy. security branch. economics, political, all the reins of operation. and there were all in to meet -- and sen. we don't have anything like that . our justice department, the fbi, treasury department, commerce department, they all have overseas operations going on. they don't want them to be related to the military. they don't want them to be seen as instruments of foreign policy. they are there, you know, find to do -- they're doing undercover operations to try to find drug lords. they don't want to any part of the military operation. so there is a story. actually, it's not in my book.
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one of these meetings sitting around talking about afghanistan . richard holbrooke, the afghan pakistan envoy starts going on about how we really need to get a lot of people from the apartment of agriculture of afghanistan. and robert gates to, you know, grew up in kansas says, richard, what makes you think the department of agriculture knows how to grow anything. so, you know, that's a good question. so it's been a problem. petraeus will say, yeah, where's the rest of the government? is just not set up that way. they are not set up the way. they're not trained to do that. whether they should not is another matter, but they have never been trained to do that. >> i appreciate you coming to louisville and i am excited about reading your book now.
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i am a retired artillery officer. a couple of years hundred and petraeus. so i grew up during the cold war, stationed in germany, defending all that kind of stuff. quite a culture shock for guys my age. my question is around the insurgency, smaller forces, special forces and all that and how that, if it does meshes with the drones that we're using which we seem to really be proliferating and also, your take on the ethical concerns of using drone instead of capturing people, trying them, is blowing away and what you think about that. >> well, and your first question, one thing that the crystal did when he was commander of the joint special operations command, he really did create a unified force. he became commander and said, well, wait. i have all these powers, but i can't do anything. he reached out and formed links with all the different intelligence agencies and the conventional forces. and so when a guy went out on an
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operation he had access to every kind of intelligence that there was. he really did revolutionize that apparatus. it is very, very integrated. as for the ethics, you know, that could be the subject of a whole other talk. i heard you say three things. one, in terms of casualties camino, comparing drones -- if somebody fired a drone and was aiming it me, it probably would not lend much farther than that man in the front row away from me. they really are that accurate. in the old days, you know, to give me you would pretty much have to bomb all of louisville to get enough bombs, to have a good chance. and so, you know, which one is the most humane? but it's true. look, we're doing these things in places where we are not at war. i think in some instances, okay.
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there is this guy. there is this guy. where he is. we know he's there. he has been doing x, y clancy. as part of the war against this. and i think in some cases that is okay. in fact, there is a story a while back, remember, making a big fuss that obama was approving these catalysts. i actually don't think that's bad. to be one approving these? the politically responsible president of the united states or the director of the cia that you might never have heard of? but where i really don't like it at all, they have these things called -- though, got. i forget the name of it. if somebody match is a profile of the kind of bad guy that you're looking for and, you know, there are ten criteria in this gametes nine of them. let's drop it, you know, i don't like that all. mainly because you're going to
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be wrong a fair amount of the time. as these counterinsurgency guys knew, you know, that's not just bad, but it is counterproductive. but, you know, i think we are about to have a very major debate because, as i say, it will be taken out of the hands of the cia, put back into the military where it can be discussed more openly. and there are a lot of commanders in the military, especially the legal, guys and jack, who just have serious problems with this. okay. i mean, we have kind of decided that torture is not a good idea. is just killing the guy? is that better? is the worse? is it the same? and also, the other problem i have with it, and i alluded to this a little bit at the end of the talk, it just makes things a little too easy. and it is like, it provides an excuse for not digging into the
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complexities of the situation that should really be analyzed. you know, nobody has time to analyze things. there's a bad guy. he's causing a lot of problems. we can kill him in about a minute. let's do it. whether that is addressing the real problem, solving the real crisis, it's an invasion. it is using technology. sometimes used well. can be a useful tool, but i think more often than not it is used as an invasion. >> thank you. the united states has not won a war since 1945. this combat looks an awful lot like vietnam. there is no difference between the republicans and the democrats except ron paul. i am wondering, are we ever going to see the united states completely pull out of the mideast? it is leaving some people to think that we might be there for well or minerals or even the
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heroin trade for that matter. and i am really concerned about this. >> well, you raise a good point. world war two is actually, in the annals of military history, sense and going way back, world war ii is kind of an anomaly. there really have not been a lot of wars in history that lead to the total surrender of the enemy . most wars, and particularly the kind that we are getting involved in now, you know, widely -- rightly or wrongly and with some kind of negotiation or some kind of division of power or some new power arrangement between, you know, some kind of coalition. and so it is uncomfortable because the war that we are all looking back upon, the good war was when there was a surrender ceremony in the u.s.s. missouri
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or the emperor of japan gets on the radio and says, i surrendered. so when you say we have not won a war since then, welcome it depends you mean. i don't know. i can think of some small wars that we won, but again, that goes back to the old saying, small wars. it's not small to the people fighting it. is not small to the people who live there. in terms of whether we will be in the middle east, obama has done a pretty thorough job of pulling a lot of troops in the middle east. i think we -- i cannot foresee us trying on any large power that depends for a good part of its industrial society on petroleum or just decide to bugout, just leave it all to chance. there are interests. as you say, ron paul, you know,
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you want to go the complete isolationist stance. i just don't see that happening. so i think we are stuck there. i mean, again, we are not fighting there anymore, unless you consider afghanistan part of the middle east. i don't think we are there for the heroin trade. i really don't. in vietnam there was -- there was some freelancing going on, but look, a superpower, a complicated world and let me just wrap this up very quickly. the paradox of winning the cold war was that even that wasn't an absolute win because american power had been -- we had woven this complex of power based on the rules of the cold war. the cold war besides being a horrendous situation was a system of international politics, a system of
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international order. and our power was based, in part, on the fact that while there were a lot of people, of countries that might not have exactly the same interest we do, they would go our way more often than not because they did not like the alternative. well, okay, 1991, the alternative blows up. there is no more soviet union. one reason why you have all of these fractured power centers now. there is no superpower. we might be the most money, but we are the most money for the kinds of conflicts that we -- the wars that we are fighting, proxy wars that we're trying to fight for fighting during the cold war. that is not what's going on. we have much less leverage over what goes on in much of the world than we did during the cold war because the fulcrum of that leverage does not apply to the power balances and power grabs that going on now. so it is a very confusing world,
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very confused world, and you know, until the next george kennan or something comes along it's going to be an ad hoc sort of policy with any president. i don't know -- if somebody came up with a grand strategy to me know, taking into account everything going on in the world and how to maximize our influence with and it, i don't know what that would be, and i don't know anybody who knows what that would be. >> well, on such certainty. and we need another question. >> u.s. army. with the fiscal cliff women and the strategic pet it to the pacific, do you think it is wise to significantly cut our ground forces considering insurgency, you are countering insurgency. incredibly manpower intensive fallout. we are cutting already.
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significantly, looking at 80,000 army. some in the marine corps. if we go over the fiscal cliff, some have suggested outside of government in addition of 25% to both the army and marine corps. he think that is wise to back the second part of this question, do you think we need a more robust advisory capability in the army in the marines beyond what special forces do by with and through their counterinsurgency approach? >> that's a good question. first, i think there are things that you could cut in the defense budget that would not have much effect. for example, we are spending 20 billion a year modernizing and maintaining the nuclear weapons source. dino, i think you could cut down significantly and it would not matter. you have certain big weapons like the f4 fives still their crafts which was designed as a less-expensive version of the f-22. the f-22 was killed.
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the f35 was getting to be almost as expensive as the f-22. ..
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>> and translated to english as no more iraq and afghanistan. no more like them, but when you do these scenarios, when you figure out how many troops you need, this is not even the kind of scenario that should enter into your mind. some people, some people have proposed the special advisory team. those who were specialists in the advisers. and i think that that is what a lot of the army is doing now. but they are kind of in a pickle. they don't know what to do. there is something out in western california called the national training center. during the cold war, there were
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these massive battles. in iraq and afghanistan, they erected these mock villages. they would hire people to play the mayor, someone also be the insurgents, and then they would play these very creative games. what they are doing now, they are calling it a full spectrum operation. we are paying a little bit of everything. and they are starting to do these maneuvers. they are also doing humanitarian assistance, they are kind of training for everything. and as you well know, the best way to cut money cheaply and
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quickly is by cutting manpower. well, you know, it will take five years to build an aircraft carrier. if you think you're cutting $5 billion, you are only cutting a couple million. the need to save yourself $100,000. so there is a great temptation, and i think you will see. i have talked about this kind of thing with some of the people whose names you have recognized an authorized. they kind of don't know what to do about it, and it's hard to come up with the arguments on why things should change. but i think that that probably is something they are going to take the easy way out en masse.
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>> we have a question over here. >> hello, my name is david, i'm a retired special police officer. so i felt during that time that the reason why they shifted, we entered this in the summer of 2007. right at the height of violence. i felt that when al qaeda came in, they were very popular come in at a popular ideology. they said yes, let's do that. but then they switched it and wants the coalition forces became better armored and with better tactics, they were harder to hit them harder to kill, and they started shifting the
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targeting towards those who collaborated with us. so i felt that that was in large part the beginning of the end for al qaeda. would you like to comment on that? >> the beginning of the end? >> yes. >> what happened, as you all know, it was approaching this, the commander and he said, listen. a lot of us are getting rid billy upset with al qaeda. they have had tried to marry off some of the daughters, and they said, you know, we are willing to side with you, if you can assure us that you're going to stay here for a while. that was the beginning. yes, it is true.
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is this man said, al qaeda had a good slogan going, which was to kill the infidel occupiers. when they couldn't do that very well anymore, and they started going after does the collaborators and in some cases beloved figures in the community they were fighting and started losing hearts and minds rapidly. they were losing the battle with the shiites as well. if they were going to survive at all, they needed to form an alliance. so david petraeus, he had good fortune here. he was in the battle at a time when the kinds of strategies that he wanted to impose have a good. other commanders would not
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recognize the situation for what it was. george casey certainly didn't. so there was lot. but there was a skillful strategy. i would agree with you completely. >> you have any comments about the trails coming back to public life in regards to general petraeus? >> you know, he has been advised after, like clinton was. i think you haven't seen the last of him. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. [applause] >> prime time continues tomorrow
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night with memoirs and biographies. at 8:00 p.m., supreme court justice so sonja sotomayor and n cynthia helms, widow of the former cia director, richard helms, we will also hear from david frisk, on the life and career of william rusher and the involvement in the the conservative movement. booktv in prime time this week here on c-span2. >> from the very start, we told the board that the approach we were going to take, which was pretty straightforward, remember, we were sent there to go make this thing a viable company. so we were all focused and we brought the message, that we
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would sell and design the world's best vehicle. that we need to move quickly, that we need your support. and we need your input. so we have changed a few things about the board meeting, it was shortened considerably, we have stayed away from the details and didn't get in the weeds on how you build a car, but the bigger questions of financing and morale and positioning marketing and that sort of thing, the board was very supportive of that. then we kept them informed. you know, we did take off. >> leading general motors through bankruptcy and the bailout. ed whitaker on an american turnaround on sunday at 9:00 p.m. on "after words." >> are special programming on booktv continues with jeffrey engel looking back at the gulf
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war. and the little as an hour and a half, retired general stanley mcchrystal on his 34 year career. and then ted caplan in his book, the insurgents. >> almanacs "washington journal", waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement is discussed. and sequestration, gun control, immigration and health care. later, we will have a recent story looking at the job market and green jobs. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. on c-span.
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now, jeffrey engel on his book "into the desert: reflections on the gulf war." this is a little bit more than one hour. [applause] >> doctor jeffrey engel is the founding director of the presidential history product at southern methodist university. until the summer of 2012, he served as the founder and professor at texas a&m university and we are pleased that he is here as well. thank you so much to texas a&m. when he was here, he was the director of the institute and he is a graduate of cornell university. he additionally studied at oxford university, and received his phd in american history from
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the university of wisconsin in madison. he served as a postdoctoral fellow in international security studies at yale university. his books include cold war at 30,000 feet, the anglo-american fighter aviation supremacy, and he received a significant award for that book. he won the prize from the american historical association for his outstanding work in strategic history. he wrote local consequences of the global war, published by stanford university press in 2008. in the diary of george h. w. bush, the making of a global president, published by princeton university press in the 2008. rethinking leadership and the whole of national security reform is one that we remember and that was done through the
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strategic studies institute in 2010, and he wrote the fall of the berlin wall, the revolutionary legacy of 1989, published by the oxford university press in 2009. honestly, we miss him at the bush school, but we know he is doing well. i would now like to suggest that we are going to have a pre-introduction to doctor jeffrey engel coming up on stage. we begin to see the video, and this is a pretty significant video, because it is a video from president bush's own works. following the invasion of kuwait, i would like to now pay attention to this video and after it is over, we will have jeffrey engel come up and talk with us. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> ♪ ♪ >> on the early-morning hours early morning hours of august 2, following negotiations and promises by the iraq dictator, saddam hussein, a powerful iraqi army invaded it's much weaker neighbor, kuwait. within three days, 120,000 iraqi troops with 850 tanks have poured into kuwait and moved south to threaten saudi arabia. >> two units of the united states air force are arriving today to take up defensive positions in saudi arabia. no one, friend or foe, should doubt our desire for peace, and
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no one should underestimate our determination to confront aggression. >> our objections are clear and our goals are defined and familiar. iraq must withdraw from kuwait completely and immediately and without conviction. these goals are not ours alone. they have been endorsed by the u.n. security council five times in as many weeks. most countries share our concern and many have a stake in the stability of the persian gulf. this is not, as saddam hussein would have it, the united states against iraq. it is a rock against the world. >> may i say that i just had a
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very useful meeting with his highness. i reiterated that the total commitment of the united states to those that are enshrinement and resolutions, we agree that all options remain open and that steps needed to be taken right now. [cheers] [applause] [cheers] >> over the past four months, you have launched what history would judge is one of the most important appointments of allies in military powers since 1945. i have come here today to personally thank you. the world is watching.
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>> i have spoken with the secretary of state, jim baker, who reported to me on his nearly seven hours of conversation with the iraqi prime minister. the secretary made it clear that he discerned no evidence whatsoever that iraq was willing to comply with the international community's demand to withdraw from kuwait and comply with united nations resolutions. let me emphasize that i have not given up on a peaceful outcome, it's not too late. the choice of peace or war is really saddam hussein's to make.
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>> just two hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets in iraq and kuwait. these attacks continue as i speak. ground forces are not engaged. single forces continue. single micro- ♪ ♪ [music playing] ♪ double mocha >> this man is elected to launch a terrorist attack the soviet
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union made such a strong statement and that was very reassuring. we are in close touch with our partners in this coalition is not going to fall apart. now, with remarkable technological advances like the patriot missile, we can defend against illicit missile attacks aimed at innocent civilians. >> i have therefore directed general norman schwarzkopf in conjunction with coalition forces to use all forces available, including ground forces to eject the iraqi army from kuwait. the liberation of kuwait has entered its final phase. i have complete confidence in the ability of the coalition forces, swiftly and decisively,
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to accomplish their mission. >> kuwait is liberated. iraqi army is defeated. our military objectives are met. kuwait is once more in the hands of kuwaitis and they are in control of their own destiny. the joy tempered only by our compassion for their ordeal. >> we went halfway around the world to do what is moral and just and right. and we fought hard, and with others we have won the war. we look to the yoke of aggression and journey from a small country that many americans have never even heard of. and we ask nothing in return.
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we are coming home now. proud and confident and heads held high. there is much that we must do. at home and abroad, and we will do it. we are america. may god bless this great nation. the united states of america. thank you very much. back >> okay. [inaudible conversations]
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>> i would like to introduce jeffrey engel. [applause] >> hello. i have to tell you that it's been about two years since i've been back here. i miss the students and the football, especially that of last year. i really miss this. this is my first visit back in about two years, and i have to say that it's really hard not to feel completely overwhelmed by the memories. in every possible way, the bush school provided a home. our kids were born here and it will forever be a part of our lives and history. in my mind, the school gave me nothing less then a career as well. it also provided wonderful
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colleagues. ever eager to debate ideas while training the next generation of public servants. i should note that several of my favorite colleagues were also ever eager to explain to me in great detail, oftentimes with charts and graphs and long equations. exactly why my own methodologies were deficient. in fact, it really proves the value of good colleagues. the best kind of colleagues of those who care enough to argue with you. to help you get it right. so i really would like to thank my colleagues for my time here. personal relationships define our time here. in fact, i think back on all these deans and administrators who let their way. from chuck thurman, who called
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me at 11:45 p.m. on a saturday night to offer me a job, and my first dean here, who upon hearing what it would take to bring a couple of yankee historians down to texas said okay. she then hung up the phone, leaving me to wonder exactly what he meant. but more importantly, if he's ever going to call back. he did, and he came through, as did others. and of course, ryan crocker who epitomizes public service. then there is andy card. a quick word about andy, the bush school is deeply and profoundly fortunate to have him at the helm. we only overlapped briefly here to my great regret.
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yet in that short time, i had discovered a man who more than any other that i have met in my life and career, a man with great power and great intellect and great substance, a man who is also a truly great gentleman. so you are lucky. come to think of it, there is one other person who combines a great sense of power and leadership in the entire school is named after him. i realize you did not come here tonight to hear me go down memory lane. although i'd like to keep going that way. we come here to launch a book. the fruit of the research program. it is an edited collection, which explores a variety of interpretations and analyses of the gulf war. his place in history is important. the book began as part of the school's 20th commemoration of the gulf war. underlayer yappers excellent
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leadership, many gathered together as policymakers and journalists, charging each for their own unique perspective on the gulf war, not only what it meant to them, but what it meant to the longer arc of history. talking about politics, military affairs, diplomacy, relations between the western world, and ultimately, what that all meant for the time in the future. now, i think that this is that rare collection of essays that is more than just the sum of its hopes. giving a book talk about this is, of course, no easy thing. each of our contributors tell their own story and make their own arguments are better far better than i could in my own words. therefore, i'm going to spend the remainder of my time giving
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you my perspective on the gulf war and what it meant. much has changed over the time, yet much remains the same. saddam hussein is gone. and kuwait remains independent. yet, american forces remain entrenched in the broader middle east far more now and 2013 than at any time before the historic event of 1990 and 1991. among that includes our memories of the gulf war and our sense of what it meant. this was the underlying point of the entire book. but what the gulf war means to us, 20 years, 20 plus years later, it is not necessarily what it meant at the time. by the same token, including people 20 years and beyond.
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as was told more than 80 years ago, we all, by virtue of the way that memories were, tend to recall the past not in terms of what actually happened, but how things turned out. we tend to focus on what things meant to us, not what things meant to people at the time. therefore, we can see wife quickly that the gulf war was a conflict that was misunderstood in american circles as a tremendous victory of 1991. that interpretation changed over the 1990s when it was considered a victory, but perhaps an inconclusive victory, given that saddam hussein remained in power. it took on new meanings after 9/11, in a series of unexpected events. but none of these interpretations that came after
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that how that adventure might turn out a new territory. as we recall the gulf war and ponder its meaning, the point of these. first, but it was a fundamentally transformative moment for the american engagement in the crucial and volatile time. ..
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from assaulting its neighbor in 1990. as a popular interpretation, but one that facts whole to be wrong. it occupied and annexed kuwait could have been liberated without the use of force. rather, i argue tonight each of washington's primary decisions at this time, the decision to confront iraq, liberate kuwait, saudi arabia with no turf wars, decision to initiate operations even if that had desperately sad
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it was a out of the crisis in the decision to halt operations after kuwait, but before it total destruction, each of these were decisions. they didn't just happen. there issues is made at the time and the bush administration critics make different choices. my third point there for elaborate on the first two, that american policymakers did not fight by reflex. you have to have been a reason that george bush, a fundamentally cautious policymaker for whom the word prudence wasn't just a byword reading a catchphrase, but a way of life when considering the international system. there had to be reason that this policymaker would risk the lives of so many in his entire presidency to do something so audacious and utterly a resident of. and there were reasons indeed. his white house and he and the
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united states did not say because of his anti-arab, pro-israel were simply interested in the region oil, as these are popular criticisms over the last 20 years. these are popular interpretations, but they're wrong. i contend the real reason why george bush waged the goal for the way he did was far more profound. he went to her like so many presidents before him in search of a better world. my point therefore is not the last and that the goal for marked a fundamental turning point, a pivot point in modern american history. all that came before 1991, after 1945, you can understand terms of the cold war, but all that happened afterwards is something else entirely. three points. the goal for restraints for amadeus, contingent and formed a
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clear dividing plan history. let me turn to the first point. which begins after iraqi forces invaded kuwait in august 1990. washington could simply have led to led to save the crescendo. it could do nothing as kuwait was followed by his neighbor. in fact, many experts including within bush's inner circle initially argued for just that position. some argued the united states had no real allies in the region, only entries in chief among interest with ensuring the flow of cold oil to the world. kuwait was no democracy in neither are any of its neighbors. these are not only allies because of ideology, but they shared something in common. put simply, the middle east modern global politics because of its oil. the world cared about the goals
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because it had oil and gold states tolerated international interference in their affairs because foreigners thought the oil. i hate to be so blunt, but anything else is sugarcoating the situation. saddam hussein loved this arrangement. he loved her so much you want to sell more oil to the world, more than opec art cars including kuwait could condone. saddam had tremendous sets, largely with old debates in your worth his neighbor, a rand. his neighbors, the kuwaitis especially had enjoyed years of unbridled profit at the same time and saddam hussein did not invade kuwait nor to keep its oil from the world. on the contrary, he wanted to sell it to the world. he wanted to sell his oil and kuwait to pay off debts. the geopolitical realities including bush's own inner cabinet to respond that with essentially studied indifference
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to the news that iraq had invaded kuwait. they care that it had been. they just didn't know how much they really should care. for who cared if his surrogates in the national soul. which likely stamped on a barrel of oil they cannot of the gold so long as they came out of the goals. so i was a great middle eastern gas station is open for business, the americans in the world could hold their nose and let the matter go away. other options of course existed for how the world might do with the iraqi aggression. the so-called arab solution, allowing regional players to solve the crisis without international interference. in fact, egypt's hosting the bar in a king hussein repeatedly lobbied president bush over the telephone before, during and after the iraqi invasion to allow the arab world to solve this problem on their own. we know this man, mubarak told
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bush. the arabs have different roles, different ways of acting others than president bush or other american leaders or other leaders might approve of. mubarak and king hussein told bush time and again, let us handle this. we'll take care of the situation. after centuries of colonialism, the europe world may need to take care of it on. bush agreed to that is their friends give this a try for a while. he told mubarak and hussein they could try for a negotiated deal, perhaps one that would've led to reduction in kuwait sovereignty has instructed his own staff to further options. and there were further options beyond the military course, which of course will turn to in due course. perhaps the united states could focus exclusively on economic sanctions and streaming iraq from kuwait. this is a popular approach ramage is the military route, perhaps government to an air
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campaign in the something mikhail gorbachev himself lobbied bush to do. we should recall that george bush was not the only decision-maker in the world confronted by this problem. for gorbachev could have threatened to capture american forces in middle east east with his. threatening that witches have been repeatedly during the cold war in 1956, 1973 and again in the 1980s soviet leaders want the united states against putting too much of their own interests in the persian gulf. let's admit, soviet intervention was unlikely in august of 1990 kittens of the poverty and the need to gorbachev in particular to keep good relations with the west and george bush. but to say it was unlikely if not the same to say was impossible. iraq was a longtime client state of the soviet and how not to give throughout moscow.
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more importantly, one thing i could bimini superpower was group the other team too much influence over the crucial oil region of the persian gulf and had baghdad invaded kuwait five years earlier, i put to you, back in 1985, back in the era when gorbachev had not yet been on the last, when glasnost were terms unknown into use after ronald reagan referred to soviets as the evil empire would've had a firmer dangerous crisis. the soviets would never have allowed the united states under those earlier circumstances to put more than half a million troops and arms along the persian gulf. yet none of these alternative options came to pass. not appeasement, not fiction, not renewal of cold war tensions are the europe solution. a fundamental reason george bush believed or came to believe that there was far more at stake in
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this crisis than merely kuwait. to fully appreciate the moment in history, i think we must recognize washington's engagement with the goal of looked far different in 1991 than it does today. before 1990, american warships have little presence in the ground following the iranian revolution in 1979 and the fallout from a lebanon years later. there were, for example, no u.s. troops in saudi arabia in 1990, nor any formal pledge to defend the kingdom or kuwait. in fact, on the eve of the iraq invasion as tensions in the region grew, american policymakers but to each of the goal state the idea that perhaps this would be a good time for joint military exercise. the show saddam or in this together. of all the states, only one, the
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united arab emirates even agree to this limited demonstration of solidarity. they feared more than saddam, a public backlash from cavorting with what the ukrainians routinely called the great state and the fact that saddam hussein directly told the united states ambassador before the invasion, quote, he felt secure in the belief that no arab government would ever allow the united states to use their land for that purpose. defending kuwait. why was he so secure in his belief? for two reasons. first, muslim states would reject pollution of american troops on their soil and because in practical terms, none to date had ever done so since 1979. of course the shah of iran hot, but that is not a model other arab readers wish to follow. saddam believed muslim states would reject direct american aid
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and more specifically stationing of troops and their soil. in retrospect, this was his first strategic miscalculation, but hardly in a rational one. american influence in the persian gulf was offshore rather than on site. this is not the 30 parallel in korea. this is not the gap in germany, places where american troops were stationed in harms way as strip wires of american resolve. on the contrary, american policymakers for decades about hope to influence the gulf and keep oil flowing but there's little direct involvement as possible so long as the soviet didn't interfere in the region themselves, president carter had declared in 1980. someone is arranged in step with the gold, president reagan declared a few years later, planners are by and large content. ultimately did not matter what had been so long as oil continued to flow and this is the bush administration's first finest love, enunciating a year before his non-sensation, latter
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part of 1989 in national security directive 26, which laid out the full scope and rationale of american involvement in the region. this document, which you get the archive does not use the word freedom. it is not used for democracy. it does not mention leaders and talk about regime types. it doesn't talk about radical islam and certainly doesn't mention wmds. he says instead, access to persian gulf oil is vital to national security interests. memories of hostages in iran destroy barracks in beirut, rest reason enough to be wary of any more. this concept matters for widespread american relock is to do more in response to iraq's invasion. for hussein did not threaten not longer-range disruption of oil.
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moreover, middle east is not an appealing place for those in american politics but the sense of short, medium and long-term history. teachings baker would've vice presidents for decades -- for years, but more importantly among bush's closest friend for decades. he was secretary of state and upon this news, contemplating and getting back to washington. he told the president into the oval office, closed the door and told him, quote, i know you're aware of the fact that this is all the ingredients that is brought down three of the last five presidents, a hostage crisis, body bags and a full-fledged economic recession caused by $40 oil, end quote. indeed we need to recall bush's decision to move troops to the gold was hurriedly embraced across the board of american
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politics in 1990. just at the same time congressional opposition to the war was far from being partisan. it was conducted out of a true sense of concern. a senate majority leader george mitchell argued, the rest of active american intervention were great. he said, quote, these include an unknown number of casualties and death, billions of dollars spent is greatly disrupted oil supply and price increases, a war widened to israel, turkey or other allies and possible long-term occupation of iraq increasing instability in the gulf region, long-lasting arab-american and a possible return to isolationism, end quote. looking back on mitchell's warnings, we see few of his quote. looking back on mitchell's warnings, we see few of his things occurred in the aftermath of the persian gulf war, but arguably all financial spheres, untold casualties, billions of dollars lost, disrupted markets,
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hostility and await isolationism return in time to haunt the united states. these were present when the national vote first met august 2nd 1990 to discuss iraq's invasion of the discussion proved anything but decisive. national security adviser, brent scowcroft turned the session appalling. my fellow contributor to the book, richard haas, also a participant called it in his memoirs, a sharp disappointment. the scowcroft found appealing and appalling is that many of bush's advisers appeared prepared to accept iraq's conquest. secretary of defense, dick cheney urged bush to declare saudi arabia a vital american national security, that by implication argue kuwait was not. dick cheney is not typically described as a pacifist or does.
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he typically over the course of his career had no qualms of using american force in american interest, but this is a moment where he did not see american interests at stake. bush's war council didn't even seem to mind too much occurs the prospect of the same time he took control after one third of the world proven oil supplies. if anything, his desired life of the market, lowering prices back to happy days of the early 1970. he sings a nation may be good for americans is to immerse. the most significant worry president bush voiced out loud in the first meeting back to earlier, ingrained cold war anxieties. he said that the soviets might react badly if the united states does anything to iraq. and then he said in a very interesting quote, we don't want to overlook the soviet desire for access to warm water port.
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in other words, he thought perhaps his friend, his new friend, has threatened u.s. and sure about the cal gorbachev. in the first hours and days after the iraqi invasion, washington blinked. if stammered, pause. this is not the image of the defaced the decision-making typically recalled the memories of the goal for our thought of. we recall president bush defiantly declaring this will not stand. this aggression against kuwait. you frequently lost a collective memory is the fact this statement has been five days after the iraqi invasion, five days when the world, the country and i'd argue in fact the majority of his staff wanted exactly what he would argue, but he would decide. for historians, that tells us other options are not considered
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on the table, but considered viable as well. much occurred behind the scenes between the first in the fifth of august. in the interim, scowcroft won the presidents endorsement of a more vigorous response to hear today, more than 20 years later as we discussed the goal for history, we should be frank it was not the argument the kuwaiti independence and self mattered at. neither was that hussein's particular brand of evil required an american response, nor is bush particularly persuaded iraq's aggression carried strategic concerns are my turn as false and too dangerous weapons of mass destruction. each of these reasons in time influenced bush's, actions and statements in the months to come. none however, not freedom, evil, debian be suspect it is thinking
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in august. bush was instead persuaded by the growing realization he stood at a pivot moment in the course of history and this is my second point for the evening. a scowcroft explained in the second national security council meeting after having time to collect his thoughts, my personal judgment and is that the stakes are such to accommodate iraq should not be good policy option. there's too much at stake, end quote. scowcroft had earlier made this point to president bush in a far more intimate setting than the two flew on a small plane to a small airfield, the regular air force one being too large to your scowcroft told the intimate quarters mattered in the president decision-making. you have to picture and the president talked so tight together in a plane that there needs to practically touched.
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and within this cramped space and national security adviser leaned forward in his seat while making his point to the far larger and taller president, jabbing his finger every time he made a point from using his entire body, all the scowcroft had, to make his case for time for calculation of national interest was gone from something larger and more important was afoot and equally dramatic towing the national security council, this is the first test of a postwar system as the bipolar world is relax giving more flexibility because people might not be worried about involvement of the superpowers. if saddam hussein succeeds, others may try the same thing and it would be a bad lesson, end quote. this argument persuaded bush to endorse the decision on which
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washington subsequent entanglement in the middle east arrived in the key question is why did bush go against forced into region like none before. answering it takes to make your final point, why bush acted, not how or why we remember he did, but at the moment how he reached the decision. i argue bush took this step within the gulf crisis because he sighed as a bridge to a better world. his new world order in response to hussein's invasion was not just a catchy phrase. it was the culmination of a long and difficult journey of intellectual discovery, with the majority of national security team, bush came late to the idea that the soviet transformation center gorbachev could be trusted, that they were real. they can particularly on the realization of the cold war was over. even after the berlin wall fell in november 1989 in democracy
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for behind the iron curtain in eastern europe, bush paused, fearing other things did not crack them such as aegis witnessed at tiananmen square. more profoundly, bush recognized that most of effective international system since 1945 and bush above all else, a man enamored by international security time and again during the spring and summer métis 90, bush told global leaders at their alliances required an enemy to survive. in his words come instability itself. a united germany could not leave nato because the enemy now is unpredictability, apathy and the utilization. he told margaret thatcher when i mass her enemies now, i told an apathy, complacency. in december 1989 after meeting with the co-gorbachev and the choppy seas, bush even lost his
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temper and push reporters to declare the cold war over because he simply did not have the answer to the next obvious and fundamental question, what came next. he said and i quote, is the cold war the same? is a region like reform in times of the berlin blockade? cool enough. things have moved dramatically. there's no cold war, would you turn the troops in europe? come on, end quote. bush saw in the goal for an opportunity as well as invasion, a point by way of conclusion tonight. he cites chance to demonstrate that washington would continue to the no matter what the future might bring, in particular the world promised his generation as their reward for service in world war ii. it will be a world where the united nations are free from cold war stalemate is poised to historic vision of founders,
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ultimately a vision of a new world based on sovereignty and stability is what drove his 19 when saddam hussein invaded kuwait. in a similar vein he said the fact of the global peace continues to depend on an american forward presence until gorbachev the exact same thing on the eve of the american air war and subsequently the groundwater the liberation of kuwait was something bigger and gorbachev, we should recall, attempted to mediate a truce between the world and iraq. he did so twice in fact. first on the eve of the air war and second on the ground more appeared imminent. he called hoping to save lives, hoping to save his former ally and baghdad and hope it has sought to keep the world from seeing too vivid a demonstration of hegemonic power. one could say in fact gorbachev
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calls so often that he badgered bush, hectoring him nightly phone calls that grew into the two-hour plus range. this is not the brightest moments of their relationship. to be blunt, bush was annoying the heck -- gorbachev was annoying the heck out of bush. the president was tired. he was stressed. he was about to set hundreds of thousands of soldiers into combat, risking more hundreds of thousands of civilians in the process and he was frankly tired of gorbachev's calls, so tired that at one point he began yelling at gorbachev and he didn't stop. he yelled and he yelled and he yelled. i have to tell you it's typically hard from a transcript to determine when someone is yelling for transcripts don't reveal tone and volume. in this case we know bush lost his temper with the soviet leader because we can read or
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which i've seen repeatedly again and again, calm down, george. george calmed down. take it easy, george. [laughter] bush in time column, but his ultimate answer at that moment was revealing. there would not be an early into the goal for he pledged, just no ongoing soviet intervention because the cold war was that really the issue. at stake was the world to come, in the post-cold war world in which aggressors or not to invade, the worthy u.n. looked over sovereignty and the soviet union looked out for the peace. a special gorbachev and and a line that to my mind sums up the president's entire reason for waging an ultimately winning the pole for a full generation ago at the height of the gulf war itself, bombs and missiles rain down in iraq.
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he told gorbachev, let us not fallout over iraq. let us not divide ourselves over saddam hussein. after all, there's far bigger things than this consecration, which is going to be over very soon. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, dr. engel. i'm going to estimate the people to join us on stage and first of all i would like to have larry napper join us on stage. ambassador larry napper graduated from texas a&m university in 1969. [cheers and applause] he's a career foreign service officer who served this country as ambassador to that he had kazakhstan at the time of desert
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shield and desert storm as the deputy chief of mission in romania or he would see the state department's distinguished honor award for leadership of the embassy during the overthrow of prochaska. next i'd like to ask lieutenant general randy house to join us. general house graduate from texas a&m university in 1967. i received a regular army commission in the infantry. he's commanded at every level in peace and war from platoon leader to deputy commander of u.s. pacific command. during desert shield, desert storm commended the 22nd or gave blackjack in the first calvary division. lieutenant general houses for great executed the coalition deception plan against saddam hussein's army making multiple bloody incursions of the waddy albertine prior to the start of the ground operations. these actions deceive iraqis who
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believe in the coalition attack from the south in the vicinity of waddy. so we look forward to this discussion. we have people who are there and people who studied happened there. so that's going to the desert. >> wow, i believe were waiting for your questions. as microphones on either side of the aisle and if you don't ask the question, i'm going tell you all the cool things coming out of the archive. >> ben inspires me. >> just, i don't have a chart, but we have many arguments. i hear this map when i teach about the gulf war and i compare it to operation iraqi freedom. one of the big differences is between both lawyers